Lessons from Geese
-Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator
SMART Recovery is a wonderful program that emphasizes self-management and self-empowerment. For this it offers tools based on sound and often evidence-based science—mostly clinical psychology but some neuroscience as well.
With all the emphasis on “self”—almost a do-it-yourself program—we often lose sight of another powerful feature of SMART—the mutual support groups in which all this is developed and promoted.
We like company, lots of the time—especially with like-minded people, hence the shelter and safety and power of a mutual support group complex. Like-minded people all in a room together discussing a common issue. A place were the afflicted can relax, become honest and open with their issues, without worry of judgment. This is present in both 12-steps groups and in SMART Recovery groups.
In my opinion SMART groups have the added feature of interactive discussion, promoting the feelings of like-mindedness and that “we are all in this together”. We are all united in spirit and intent to find relief for ourselves, and in so doing share that with others. All this falls under the concept of Compassion.
Many state that they go to 12-step meetings for “spirituality“ and attend SMART meetings for the tools and solutions. The implication is that there is no spirituality at SMART. Continue reading
Coping Skills Help Make Behavior Change Last
~Carrie Wilkens, Ph.D., Center for Motivation and Change
Making a change in your life is a pretty big deal. If you’ve moved into the action stage of change, we’d first like to first offer you a huge congratulations! This is a bold move, and one that deserves a lot of praise! Next we’d like to offer you some helpful tips to help make this change a little bit easier, and hopefully a lot more permanent!
Learn a few coping skills
You may have heard this term, coping skills, before and you may not really know what it means. Coping skills are things that you can do to help tolerate a difficult time by using constructive and positive strategies. More specifically, coping skills are what you need to tolerate the difficult moments that come along with making a significant change in your life (like giving up an unhealthy habit, learning a healthy behavior, not giving into impulses, etc.).
When we talk about coping skills, we can break them up into two categories, Continue reading
Tom Horvath and Stanton Peele
If you spend some time with Stanton Peele, it won’t take long to realize that he asks a lot of questions! For this event, we are turning the tables, and Dr. Horvath will be the one with the questions.
There are several areas in which SMART’s focus and opinions and those of Dr. Peele differ. For instance, according to W.R. Miller “The best predictors of relapse for people treated for alcohol problems are lack of coping skills and belief in the disease theory of alcoholism.” Tom focuses on the former, Stanton on the latter. Listen to these two colleagues and friends discuss this difference in their focus — and watch the fur fly!
This is an unparalleled opportunity to hear a truly broad-based discussion on addiction between two unsurpassed experts in the context of the latest in research and treatment. We have no doubt that this will be a lively and intriguing discussion, and there will be plenty of time for questions from the audience as well. This is a don’t miss! Continue reading
How do you change from a team you’ve supported for a long while?
-HughK, SMART Recovery Facilitator
Imagine you are in a stadium FULL of people. The game is drawn and the outcome hangs in the balance.
One team gets the ball, heads towards their scoring end and the crowd, or half the crowd, starts to cheer!
They score! Half the stadium goes WILD! The other half groans! It is the same actual event that they both see – the emotion and depth of their reactions depends on which side they support, and how intensely emotional they feel about their team.
In addiction recovery I was attempting to change teams from the Addiction NAL (in the National Addiction League), to the Engaged NWL (in the National Wellness League). These two teams constantly played off in the Super Bowl of my life!
Some of my family and some of my friends couldn’t understand WHY I ever supported Addiction NAL. But I had my reasons: Continue reading
We’re making history this weekend with our 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Conference
Our 2014 Annual Conference will be streamed live on the Internet from the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. this weekend. This is a first for us and we are grateful to a very generous donor whose support has made this possible.
High-quality video will be available and requires little more than a high-speed Internet connection.
September 27-28, 2014
Download the Agenda
View the Conference
9/27 (Saturday) 8:45am – 4:30pm (edt)
9/28 (Sunday) 8:45am – 12:30pm (edt)
Test Your Connection ahead of time and we’ll see you this weekend!
[Test Your Streaming Connection]
Twitter Fans: Use #smartcon to share your conference experience.
Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will be opening the conference – a history making event that you won’t want to miss.
Open Event: This is an open event, all are welcome, and there is no charge for viewing. Please use the social media icons below to help us spread the word. Continue reading
7 Risk factors for relapse
-Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator
Over the course of time I’ve observed several sets of circumstances that seem to increase the risk of a person with an addictive problem to sustain a relapse – that is, falling back to the former behavior. I must honestly state that this is an observational piece and I am not sure that there is any science behind it. Nevertheless it certainly does make sense that some of these circumstances do heighten the risk for a temporary or even permanent stepping out of the stages-of-change process which we call addiction recovery.
7 Risk Factors for Relapse
What follows is a short description of each of these.
Fantasy By this I mean thinking about a possible future scenario Continue reading